GM Inside News Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,692 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Jan. 13, 2004

Ford ponders developing vehicle aimed at youth market

By RICK KRANZ | Automotive News

Ford Motor Co. will decide this year whether to develop a small, low-priced vehicle aimed at the youth market in North America, says the company's product-development chief.

If approved, the vehicle likely would be developed off a new subcompact platform that Mazda is developing.

Ford already is developing 10 Ford, Mercury and Lincoln models from the mid-sized Mazda6 platform.

Phil Martens, vice president of North American product creation, said of the proposed small Ford: "I feel a sense of urgency to do it." A decision will be made this year.

Among the issues to be decided is whether the vehicle would be assembled in North America or imported, he said. Martens was interviewed at the Detroit auto show.

While not describing the Ford model that is under consideration, Martens said small sport wagons continue to grow in popularity.

"We want to make sure that if we do a product (for North America) it has true appeal for the youth market, and that is a difficult thing to do," Martens said. "Not every car under $15,000 appeals to the youth market."

Commenting on the success of Toyota's Scion xB, Martens said: "I think the market is ready for that. It is nice to let others lead the way because it is a tough market to crack. We can be very effective as a fast follower."

Over the past decades, Ford tried unsuccessfully to woo low-price buyers with two car imports, the Fiesta and Aspire.

Ford had considered importing the current-generation Fusion sport wagon from Brazil and displayed the car at the 2002 Los Angeles auto show. But that plan was dropped.

"There is an opportunity now to rethink our approach with the whole international automotive group that David Thursfield leads and the recently announced role that Mazda will play as the lead for our small cars," Martens said.

Full Article Here

Mazda subcompacts in Japan market:
AZ-Wagon


Laputa


Mazda Japan subcompact lineup
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
708 Posts
The $13,000 Focus ZX3 is not youth oriented enough?
Maybe the ZX3 is not ugly enough to entertain youths?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,856 Posts
Martens said: "I think the market is ready for that. It is nice to let others lead the way because it is a tough market to crack. We can be very effective as a fast follower."

That's an interesting strategy...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
it seems that Ford needs something small and ugly with a 2 liter engine because for some unknown reason, young people in their teens seem to like a car more, the uglier it is.

Look at the Element, and the whole Scions lineup. The uglier the car the better it will sell because retards these days need to be different so as long as they are different, it doesn't matter how slow, ugly or unreliable it is. People WILL buy them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43,942 Posts
<_<
How does one pronounce "Scion" anyways? I've heard it pronounced so many different way.
1) See-on?
2) Sky-on?
3) Sy-on?
4) Sh-on?

Focus is ugly. I'm driving a rental one now (car's in for it's 70K checkup) and I'm not all that enthused about it. It's creaky and the doors slam shut with this "low quality" thud. OK.. It's a rental and was probably abused by some renegade college student on the way to Tiajuana or something. But still. I would have been happier if Enterprise had given me the SL1 on the lot.

I don't see why "youths" can't get a nicely trimmed Cobalt or even a G6 or a Sunfire. They're all within reach of 1st time car buyers or parents buying for their kid. At 28, I'm obviously too old to find the See-on/Sky-on/Sy-on/Sh-on attractive. And even the Focus.

My first was was a 91 Saturn SL2, so I've got a soft spot for Saturns, and they're a wonderful 1st car -- amazingly reliable and cheap to maintain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Originally posted by Dizzer@Jan 13 2004, 03:51 PM
MEMO TO FORD: An AWD, high performance, WRC street version of the Focus.
yes because a $30k to $35k car is exactly the kind of money the youth market has when buying their first car
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
790 Posts
alright it looks like a scoin and an ugly fat impreza wrx. why is it every time a company comes out with a youth car, other than most of gm (aveo is boring but not ugly) o and the cobalt looks great, i mean im 20 and none of these cars have opealed to me at all, actualy i think most of them are uglier than the aztec..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Originally posted by Smilingoat@Jan 13 2004, 05:41 PM
alright it looks like a scoin and an ugly fat impreza wrx. why is it every time a company comes out with a youth car, other than most of gm (aveo is boring but not ugly) o and the cobalt looks great, i mean im 20 and none of these cars have opealed to me at all, actualy i think most of them are uglier than the aztec..
what cars under $25k appeal to you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
I see no appeal whatsoever in the Scion line up and those subcompacts from Mazda are equally as ugly!!! It's a shame that people 5+ years younger than me think these cars look cool. Oh well, these are the kids who think old is something from the mid to late 80's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
790 Posts
Originally posted by LegendNH+Jan 13 2004, 11:00 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (LegendNH @ Jan 13 2004, 11:00 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Smilingoat@Jan 13 2004, 05:41 PM
alright it looks like a scoin and an ugly fat impreza wrx. why is it every time a company comes out with a youth car, other than most of gm (aveo is boring but not ugly) o and the cobalt looks great, i mean im 20 and none of these cars have opealed to me at all, actualy i think most of them are uglier than the aztec..
what cars under $25k appeal to you? [/b][/quote]
i like the cobalt, the solctice, curve, malibu, stratus rt, lower end subarus, and a lot of others. i cant really think of all of them off the top of my head.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
i would have to say that i am almost 20 and i know of not one person who finds scions and the like attractive at all. hell most of em hate the focus hehe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,258 Posts
Ford could do this easily with the Focus ZX3. Give it a turbocharged 2.3L I4 putting 240hp to the wheels. Update the suspension a hair and give it the 6-speed gearbox from the SVT Focus, but don't do anything else. The SVT Focus was too up-scale of a product with not enough power. You could easily turn a $13K ZX3 into an SRT-4/WRX slaying machine for under $20k. Of course, if the rumours of a $20K LX V8 Mustang are true, Ford could just as easily slay the sport compacts with a traditional RWD muscle car :).

I'd like to see Ford and GM both take this market a bit more seriously. Dodge is really earning a lot of lifetime customers by drawing in young crowds to look at the Neon SRT-4, just as Subaru is getting lifetime buyers from the WRX (Scoobies used to be considered safe, but rather boring cars not long ago).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,963 Posts
Originally posted by mgescuro@Jan 13 2004, 08:32 PM
<_<
How does one pronounce "Scion" anyways?  I've heard it pronounced so many different way.
1)  See-on?
2)  Sky-on?
3)  Sy-on?
4)  Sh-on?
5)  Cr-ap? 
#5..... :laughbounce:


as for the subcomact world... I am 20 and what appeals to me for under 25k is.... a used fbody, vette, or older muscle car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,714 Posts
The Scions are nice cars. They are "premium subcompacts" with excellent build quality, good rides (for their size), good use of interior space, quirky styling (take that as a good or bad), and good prices. Toyota has provided excellent aftermarket for them. Young people seem to like them. I was driving the first xA in my area a few months ago and teenagers noticed it.

There are many young adults, like Bigals, who want an American car with a V8 and rear-wheel drive, but they're not the majority. And (please, Bigals, don't take offense) they're not the progressive group who start trends. Scion vehicles are meant to be for modern young people who like to be on the cutting-edge...call them trendy. If you saw the swag Toyota gives out to the media (read "middle-aged men") to promote the Scion brand, you'd laugh. One-shoulder bookbags, Red Bull Energy Drinks, "house" music CDs, and (this year) clenched fist antenna toppers. Bigals, I can't imagine you being into these things. You're not the target audience for Scion (again, no offense).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,963 Posts
none taken. And if the Scion is the "cutting edge" it must hurt to have such a dull blade. I hate my generation 100% and I want to punch out every since "trend setter". They are the reason I have nothing to look foward too in a car. Thanks generation y or z or whatever Im in. (insert middle finger here) Lazy bunch of wastes of space.

oh and red bull tastes like bull piss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,342 Posts
I don't understand why Ford won't ship this one over from across the pond:



The Ford Street Ka.

Image courtesy Ford of Germany.

Ken
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,692 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Originally posted by Hudson@Jan 15 2004, 12:07 PM
The Scions are nice cars. They are "premium subcompacts" with excellent build quality, good rides (for their size), good use of interior space, quirky styling (take that as a good or bad), and good prices. Toyota has provided excellent aftermarket for them. Young people seem to like them. I was driving the first xA in my area a few months ago and teenagers noticed it.
None of this changes the fact that these are several year old models from the Japan market, which has since moved on (Toyota still sells them with a gagillion other models). In fact the big losers here are the Japanese makers like Nissan, Suzuki, Mistusbishi and Honda, who all have "kei" cars like the Scions that are in many cases more popular than the Toyotas. My dog-eared 4 year old copy of a Japanese auto mag with the Toyota bBX as a current production vehicle (that's so "new and fresh" in the US), and the Japanese news stories I read about the model failing to attract the youth market in Japan have me looking at the Scions in a different light.

Stylish, Trendy, "Its a Toyota (Sony)" whatever. Young people want a cheap econobox that doesn't look cheap. This is where these redone Echos succeed. The Echo was lame, and looked cheap, or at least downscale and dorky. The styling is for grandma. Toyota made a smart move and started introducing funky designs from the streets of Tokyo.

But like Sony (years ago) introducing Minidisc and DV players several years old from the Japanese market and marketing them as "new and fresh" here, I am unimpressed.

Ford could certainly learn a few things from Mazda on making cheap, small engined, yet actually attractive / fun little vehicles. I just hope the guys at Ford don't get their hands into the exterior design. They really need to lay off - in particular the Ford designers who seem intent on keeping all of their brand new redesigned Explorers and such looking exactly the same as the previous generation vehicles...

Chevy took a modern Daewoo Kalos design and turned it into a widemouth bass Taurus thing that just looks awful. I'd be willing to bet that the headlights and grill were redone in America, not Italy. Thankfully from the side and rear it looks the same, but this would have lured "youth" much better, I think:

http://bilder.mobile.de/images/autos/52269...1060680841.bild



 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top